Local Songwriter’s Work In Hollywood Movie

Shere gave up and it was then that musical inspiration came. “I just took the dog out for a walk...."

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Photo: Richard Foreman/Disney Pictures)

Jesse (Thomas McDonell) explains to Nova (Aimee Teegarden), why denim jackets are so 2002.

Jeremy Shere’s song “In Deep” is featured in the Disney film Prom.

Shere received a PhD in literature from Indiana University with a dissertation on “the Anthological Imagination of Leo W. Schwarz,” but he’s probably better known for his radio and print journalism. Listeners hear his writing on WFIU’s A Moment of Science and production work on the IU School of Medicine’s Sound Medicine. Readers may see his pieces in Bloom Magazine.

On Saturday morning shoppers may have seen Shere out busking behind an open guitar case at the Bloomington Farmers’ Market. “In a town full of musicians and song writers, I don’t consider myself a professional, but I have written songs all my life and I enjoy playing music.”

Long time friend Joe Nussbaum, director of Disney’s upcoming film Prom, remembered Shere’s songs and asked him to write something for the film. “Joe sent me the script. When I read it there was one character, Lloyd Taylor that interested me so I sat down and started working.”

Inspiration’s A Fickle Thing

Pretty soon, Shere gave up. But it was just then that musical inspiration came. “I just took the dog out for a walk. It was early spring and the grass was very green. The old adage, ‘the grass is always greener,’ came to mind. It became the first line of the song. Then I was struck by an otherwise ordinary stop sign and that’s in there too. By the time I got home and put these together with a few more phrases and some guitar chords, I had the whole song. It took maybe a half hour.”

The basic work was done, but Shere believes in collaboration. “I sent it off to my brother. He’s a screen writer and also a talented song writer for his comments.” Shere also got some help from composer, ethnomusicologist and playing partner Peter Ermey. “I was over at Peter’s playing some songs and it just happened that I played the new song for Prom. Peter made a couple of suggestions, minor ones but they really added to the flow.”

And when it came time to record the finished product the collaborators performed. “My brother came in to play rhythm guitar, I sang the parts and Peter played some lovely fills on a little ancestor of the guitar that he’d just gotten.”

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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  • Jeremy Shere

     Just so the record is clear, my dissertation was a history of Jewish American literature, not only about Leo Schwarz.

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